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West Nile virus confirmed in mosquito sample in Cerritos

August 27, 2021

The Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District (GLACVCD) has confirmed the first mosquito sample to test positive for West Nile virus (WNV) in Cerritos this year. The mosquitoes were collected in a trap in Cerritos on July 27.

WNV is transmitted to people and animals through the bite of an infected mosquito. There is no cure for WNV. One in five persons infected with the virus will exhibit symptoms, which can include fever, headache, body aches, nausea and a skin rash. There is no human vaccine for WNV, and severe cases can lead to paralysis or even death. Adults over the age of 50 years old and people with chronic health problems are at higher risk of severe illness.

GLACVCD and County of Los Angeles Public Health (Public Health) recommend the following actions to reduce the threat of WNV in neighborhoods:

  • Eliminate standing water in clogged rain gutters, rain barrels, discarded tires, buckets, watering troughs or anything that holds water for more than a week.
  • Ensure that swimming pools, spas and ponds are properly maintained.
  • Change the water in pet dishes, birdbaths and other small containers weekly.
  • Request mosquitofish from your local vector control district for placement in ornamental ponds.
  • Avoid mosquito-infested areas at dawn and dusk.
  • Cover up. Consider wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants when you are outdoors, particularly at times and in areas where more mosquitoes are present.
  • Wear insect repellent when outdoors where mosquitoes may be present. Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered repellents containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE), para-menthane-diol (PMD) or 2-undecanone. When used as directed, EPA-registered insect repellents are proven safe and effective, even for pregnant and breastfeeding women.
  • Clean and chlorinate swimming pools; drain any water collecting on pool covers.
  • Report neglected (green) swimming pools in your neighborhood to the Public Health Environmental Health Bureau at (626) 430-5200 or to a local vector control agency.
  • Use screens on windows and doors. Check for and repair holes in screens to keep mosquitoes outdoors.

Dead birds may be reported by calling (877) 968-2473 or visiting westnile.ca.gov/report.php. For more information on West Nile virus, visit publichealth.lacounty.gov/media/westnile or glacvcd.org.

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